4 Ways to Stay Healthy After a Breakup
Our physical health is often influenced by our mental and emotional health. Research links chronic depression to a number of physical ailments such as migraines, headaches, back pain, and digestive issues.
A wise woman once told me that a divorce (or very serious breakup) can be as devastating as the death of a loved one. Grief is a powerful emotion that doesn’t distinguish between losing a partner in a car accident or losing them to someone else. In both cases, they’re gone and you’re left to pick up the pieces and start over.
In After Love Leaves, Zoe’s struggle to stay healthy following a brutal breakup, is reflective of my own battle with illness for about a year after my relationship ended. I learned a crucial lesson: it’s important to protect your physical health or problems can escalate and cause permanent damage.
Here are some simple tips to stay physically and mentally healthy after a breakup:
The simplest, most organic way to combat depression is through exercise. Elevating your heart rate will cause your brain to release endorphins, chemicals that act as analgesics, which will diminish the perception of pain within the body. Basically, a good workout can help shock your brain out of a funk.
Learn and Grow.
Take the time to reflect on where your previous relationship went awry. By reflecting on the past, you have a better chance of not repeating the same mistakes and ultimately ending up with the same outcome. You can see my own personal growth from After It’s Over to After I’m Gone. I went from a guy loving himself more than me to a guy loving his dirt bike more than me. That’s progress, right? Hmm…maybe I should rethink what I’m looking for in a partner.
Need help to figure out what went wrong with your last relationship?
Consider the following questions:
- Did being with your last partner make you a better person?
- What did you like about him/her?
- What didn’t you like about them?
- What kind of person do you imagine spending the rest of your life with?
Positive reflection will help you process the relationship while ensuring that your next relationship is better than the last.
Breathe and Rest.
People aren’t interchangeable and going from one relationship to another without taking the time to process your feelings, is the equivalent of putting a Band-Aid on a bleeding artery. A wound can’t heal properly if it isn’t treated appropriately. Allow yourself time to grieve the end of your relationship so you can be ready for a healthy, happy step forward.
Often in relationships, we find ourselves putting what we enjoy on the back burner in order to make time for someone else’s needs. (Uh, hello? I put on rock climbing gear and scaled a building for my ex. I’m afraid of heights!!!) Now is a great time to get back to being you. Do what you enjoy. Spend time with friends and have fun whenever you can. Reconnect with the people who care most about you. A good support system can help mitigate even the worst of situations.
The end of a relationship doesn’t have to be the end of you. It can be the beginning a healthier, wiser, and happier you.